Model Neighborhood

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1st Cavalry News

Active local government keeps Qadisiyah thriving

By Spc. Alexis Harrison
2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs

            BAGHDAD – Just to the west of the heavily-fortified International Zone lays a neighborhood that has made great strides in achieving and maintaining peace and prosperity.
            A little more than two years ago, the troops from the “Red Dragons” of the 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment patrolled this neighborhood in hopes that it would become a beacon of stability for the area. Now, after the artillerymen from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, have come back after that rotation, they have noticed that not much has changed. And that’s a good thing according to several of the troops.
            The troops maintain a consistent presence in the neighborhood nonetheless. Recently, instead of just patrolling and maintaining security, they made a stop in the neighborhood to spread a little cheer among the kids living there by handing out soccer jerseys, toys and school supplies July 2.
            1st Lt. Joe McDonald said that many of the kids are well-known to his platoon. The Glenwood, Md., native also said that the kids are always eager to come out and see the troops when they roll in, especially when there’s a chance of getting a free toy or football.
            One of the deputy Neighborhood Advisory Council chairmen boasted that Qadisiyah is the best neighborhood in Baghdad.  He’s happy to show you why.
            Instead of mounds of trash there are neatly-trimmed bushes along most of the streets and larger roads. Instead of empty shops, bountiful fruit stands and even a portrait studio are open and receiving business.
            The owner of the shop said that he was very proud to be able to own his own business and that it was due to the hard work of both Coalition Forces and the local leaders.
            This is all a stark contrast to the neighborhoods around Qadisiyah. The residents of Karkh along the once-infamous Haifa Street only began to go about their normal lives after intense fighting was slaked by Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces earlier this year.
            But Qadisiyah has remained quiet. Capt. Don Cherry, commander of the Co. A “Gators,” said that the neighborhood does a good job taking care of itself by sticking together and taking pride in what they achieved.
            He said that many of the residents have been living in the area most of their lives, and they take an active role in community cohesion with events like the one for the kids and even humanitarian aid food drops for residents in need of assistance.
            Some of the residents of the neighborhood are English-speaking Christian Iraqis. Unlike the other residents, they have the unique ability to be able to carry on light-hearted conversations with the troops as they walk around talking to people.
            While making their special delivery, Soldiers had their hands full with the small mob of children who had come out for the free stuff.
            Several of the children approached the Soldiers saying, Mista, mista, give me football!”
A Soldier replied, “I don’t have a football, but how about a toothbrush?”

Chatham, Va., native, Sgt. Antonio Carter, with Company A, 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, describes the route he and the troops from his platoon will be taking through Qadisiyah on their way to help a civil affairs team hand out soccer jerseys and toys to kids in the neighborhood July 2. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Alexis Harrison, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

Chatham, Va., native, Sgt. Antonio Carter, with Company A, 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, describes the route he and the troops from his platoon will be taking through Qadisiyah on their way to help a civil affairs team hand out soccer jerseys and toys to kids in the neighborhood July 2. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Alexis Harrison, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

Fayetteville, N.C., native, Sgt. Arthur Brown, with Company A, 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, watches the street while his comrades from the 2nd Platoon visit with residents in Qadisiyah July 2. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Alexis Harrison, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

Fayetteville, N.C., native, Sgt. Arthur Brown, with Company A, 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, watches the street while his comrades from the 2nd Platoon visit with residents in Qadisiyah July 2. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Alexis Harrison, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

Glenwood, Md., native, 1st Lt. Joe McDonald, a platoon leader with Company A, 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division,hands out a few pencils to kids living in the Qadisiyah neighborhood July 2. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Alexis Harrison, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

Glenwood, Md., native, 1st Lt. Joe McDonald, a platoon leader with Company A, 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division,hands out a few pencils to kids living in the Qadisiyah neighborhood July 2. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Alexis Harrison, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

A Civil Affairs team member working with the 2nd Platoon, Company A, 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, hands out a few water balloons to kids living in the Qadisiyah neighborhood July 2. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Alexis Harrison, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

A Civil Affairs team member working with the 2nd Platoon, Company A, 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, hands out a few water balloons to kids living in the Qadisiyah neighborhood July 2. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Alexis Harrison, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

Las Vegas native, Sgt. Arthur Gifford from the 2nd Platoon, Company A, 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, keeps en eye on security while his teammates help a civil affairs team hand out jerseys, toys and school supplies to kids in the Qadisiyah neighborhood July 2. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Alexis Harrison, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

Las Vegas native, Sgt. Arthur Gifford from the 2nd Platoon, Company A, 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, keeps en eye on security while his teammates help a civil affairs team hand out jerseys, toys and school supplies to kids in the Qadisiyah neighborhood July 2. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Alexis Harrison, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

 

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